Herb: Green Gentian


Latin name: Frasera speciosa


Synonyms: Swertia radiata


Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)



Medicinal use of Green Gentian:

The whole plant is febrifuge, pectoral, laxative and tonic. An infusion of the dried, powdered leaves, or the root, has been used in the treatment of diarrhoea. A cooled decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of asthma, colds, digestive complaints etc. An infusion of the plant has been used as a contraceptive. Caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Biennial/Perennial


Height:
150 cm
(5 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Dryish or dampish places. Rich soils in open pine woods, aspen groves etc, 1500 - 3000 metres.

Edible parts of Green Gentian:

Root. It has been reported that the N. American Indians ate the fleshy root of this plant, but caution is advised since the roots of closely related plants are used medicinally as emetics and cathartics. See the notes above on toxicity.

Other uses of the herb:

The root, when ground into a powder and then mixed with oil, has been used as a parasiticide in order to kill lice.

Propagation of Green Gentian:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in late winter.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dryish or dampish places. Rich soils in open pine woods, aspen groves etc, 1500 - 3000 metres.

Known hazards of Frasera speciosa:

When used medicinally, large doses of the powdered root have proved fatal.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.